Saturday, December 22, 2007

Valley Vibe Gone?

I hope it's all in my head. I hope it's just because I haven't been out in the valley in a year or so and because I was the stone cold sober designated driver, but I reckon the valley might be losing its' cool alternative / indie vibe a bit, at least when it comes to nightlife.

We had another awesome family dinner at Oyama last night to celebrate the old man's 60th. In his usual stay young style, Dad opted to kick on afterwards. Being a fan of - and participant in - the live music scene he wanted to check out the Elephant & Wheelbarrow. Sure, ok, yeah. But first to The Met, on Eve's suggestion.

I was pretty impressed with The Met; three floors of cool with balconies over a dance floor & bar level, with a bunch of chill out booths below on a basement level. Looks like the whole place was fitted out by way of Loot though. Crowd: average dolled-up mall-dwellers. With the DJ pumping out dance & the old man wanting a live band and commenting that the audio systems were better when he was doing club sound & lighting back in the day it was time to head back to the pub. One drink and we're moving on.

The Elephant & Wheelbarrow had a cool tabletop sit-down arcade game, but the rest of the place was no different to your average suburban pub. Don't know where the valley's interesting people have gone, E&B was full of post-xmas-party pissed bogans jumping around to the cover band Stiffler's Mum. Dad was pretty disappointed having had some ripper nights at E&B in the last few years.

How to redeem this birthday pub crawl? Pool. Dooleys. Except that it's not Dooleys anymore it's Club 388. No biggy, it's still got pool tables. And someone's got Bobby Brown going on the jukebox, followed by Hammer (yeah y'all). So we hang out there with a few games of pool featuring Dad & Scotty vs Zara & Matt while a duo strums out Matchbox 20 and Third Eye Blind covers on acoustic guitar and banjo on stage. The aroma of other peoples dinners revisited is faint at the bar end of the room where we are, but intensifies as one approaches the bathrooms; seems the christmas party carnies are coming off second best again this year, though they resiliently push on regardless.

It was the ten minutes out on the Dooleys balcony watching the punters wander up & down the streets by Family, the Empire and the Press Club, as well as the walk to Dooleys and back to the car, that got me wondering what happened to the Valley. The police presence was high; pairs of 'em ticketing punters for jaywalking and a bunch escorting one bloke away from RGs. Couldn't shake the feeling that the Valley nightscene's been taken over by the piss drinking commercial pop crowd that I would have expected at Fridays or City Rowers back in the day.

Maybe - hopefully - it's just the christmas party carny season.


Posted by Dean @ 12/22/2007 08:15:00 am

...Survey says...


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